The Animal Rights Movement has shown few signs of weakening over the years after three decades of activism and management. This has been influenced by public awareness of animal rights policies, increased legal action, and budget building. The movement covers many organizations which advocate for animal rights which take the names Animal rights, conservation, or welfare (International Vegetarian Union, par. 3). The animal rights movement is responding to how animals are treated globally. The response in each country is different considering culture, location, and laws governing animals. Animal rights activists in these countries advocate for the creation of animal protection laws, implementation of these laws, anti-vivisection, and an animal cruelty-free lifestyle (Animal Australia, par. 1).
In Australia, there has been an increasing trend in animal advocacy with the government getting more involved with improvement in animal welfare (Animal Australia, par. 4). Animals have been used in scientific and medical research, used even in teaching and there has been a change in approach over animal use and anti-vivisection. In West Australia, researchers still use animals in their research and teaching in big numbers, though non-animal methods can be innovated and used.
The use of animals in research started in the 19th century and it’s still being done today to the disadvantage of both animals and humans. Some of the tests done on animals are the Draize eye skin tests and lethal dose tests. Many companies are using natural ingredients, culture tests, human trials who volunteer and models of computers as alternatives to animal testing (Mayo 2).
Animal rights movements in Australia on anti-vivisection a campaign against medical research on animals, lead to the establishment of Choose Cruelty-Free (CCF), a non-profit making organization that is independent and that advocates for a cruelty-free standard of living. CCF work is done by volunteers, animal rights activists to campaign on the use of products not tested on animals and having a cruelty-free logo. Products certified by CCF do not contain any animal ingredients and are not tested on animals in order to get a cruelty-free logo. CCF aims to encourage companies to take up a cruelty-free ethic and make consumers be aware of this opportunity and change their attitude concerning vivisection (Choose Cruelty free, par. 4).
Due to the increased number of supporters of the cruelty-free campaign, cruelty-free shops were established for vegetarians, people who want to use products not tested on animals, and foods for those who have dairy allergies. These cruelty-free shops advocate for veganism to help reduce animal killing and cruelty, it is an ethical and appropriate decision that many people in the animal rights movement have considered in response to public health, environmental costs and animal suffering (The Cruelty free shops, par. 1).
Animal cruelty – Factory Farmed Pigs and Battery Hens
Animal cruelty has been an issue in Australia, factory-farmed animals are subjected to misery. Farmed pigs are confined into restricted small cages whereby they hardly can turn or walk. The battery hens are kept in cruel cages where they cannot even spread their wings, in a space less than an A4 size paper. These animals get trapped for months, rub on the wires in pain, the hens peck their feathers out and their cage mates, and to reduce these incidences their beaks are chopped off. These practices are legal in Australia even though they have been banned in other countries. The legislation of animal welfare does not protect farm animals in Australia; these are left to endure suffering in unfavorable housing conditions and cruelty (Mayo, par. 5).
The animal rights movement campaign against such abuse and suffering for all animals inclusive of those kept for food, ought to have protection from cruelty and there has been a call to help free these animals. In response to the campaign, some businesses began to sell certified cruel free products to show that they care for animal rights practically. Victoria’s biggest pig producer launched the Otway pork brand to meet the demand for safe and natural pork by consumers. Their product is produced in acceptable animal protection standards and humane production procedures. Companies that meet these animal welfare standards receive a national RSPCA accreditation. This system helps in the campaign against cruel farming conditions and practices. It increases the demand for the production of animal-friendly products (Otway Pork, par. 2). In addition, one other company that responded to the campaign in Australia is Sunny Queen Farms. They produce cage-free eggs (natural grain) from hens that are free to move around in large barns which are usually open-sided where they are able to spread their wings freely (Sunny Queen Farms, par. 3).
The problem and culture in India
In India, there are taboos to kill and meat consumption of some animals, more to do with spirituality and not animal activism. Regarding the Indian culture, animals have respect, compassion for animals is preached by Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The cow religion and culture in India cannot be done away with though many western animal activists have tried to (Ida India, par. 11), contrarily, things have changed with time due to urbanization and population increase, animals are killed for meat and leather.
The Indian Leather Trade
The Indian leather trade produces leather from skins of goats, sheep, and buffalos which is exported all over the world. They subject these animals to dangerous conditions during slaughter and cruelty by being stuffed in large numbers into Lorries undergoing severe injury, many of these animals die in the process (Elangovan 2; Times of India, par. 4). These animals are pushed into slaughterhouses and are slaughtered with blunt knives as they see each other in unsanitary conditions, others are skinned alive.
PETA India an animal rights movement investigated the matter of the transport and conditions subjected to these animals during slaughter for the Indian leather trade. They collected graphic evidence of the conditions in the campaign for animal protection. They took the case to court on how the Indian animal welfare board failed to protect animals from cruelty by the leather industry. The fact that top officials of the Indian government assured the public of action against animal cruelty and progress in animal welfare six years back, still there is no improvement in animal protection. Slaughterhouses are still unhygienic, illegal slaughterhouses operate, and unfavorable animal transport conditions. The Indian government is required to do more concerning cruelty to animals and strengthening rules governing animal rights (Petaindia, par. 7).
PETA’s campaign against the leather industry began in 2000, and about 40 countries declined to import leather from India including the largest leather importers like Nike, Adidas, Eddie and Gucci. The leather industry lost about 68 US dollars due to cruelty. This campaign on animal protection was also supported by celebrities all over the world (Petaindia, par. 10). The leather industry is losing market as people find alternatives for leather products and advocate for animal-friendly products.
The human rights movements in western countries are campaigning against vivisection as most of the research is conducted on animals, working directly with these organizations to find efficient alternatives and to inform scholars of the impact of animal testing and what alternatives can be put into practice. Vivisection should be abolished because scientific research by vivisection cannot be achieved without suffering and cruelty (Mayo 1). Animal welfare associations are encouraging people to only use products that have not been tested on animals, check for the CCF logo to ensure that the products are approved by CCF, and support the campaign against animal suffering and cruelty.
Many countries are implementing animal anti-cruelty laws against the intentional cause of suffering to animals and the provision of care to these animals. The subjection of an animal to pain carries with it penalties for animal rights violation and failure to care for animals is also a violation of the law. Anti-animal cruelty law has gained attention over the years and has led to more humane handling of animals. This is because of the penalties and campaign against cruelty by animal rights movements (Wisch 3). More companies are producing cruelty-free products to help in the anti-cruelty campaign and capture the growing market demand for these cruelty-free products. Veganism is becoming the focus of animal liberation movements; they propose the use of cruelty-free products (International Vegetarian Union, par. 2).
Animals Australia. “ Major Campaigns.” 2009. Web.
Choose Cruelty Free. “About CCF”. 2009. Web.
Elangovan, K. “IAS The horror of the Indian leather Trade.” 2009. Web.
IDA India. “Animal Welfare in India.” 2009. Web.
International Vegetarian Union. “A Spotlight on Vegan Companies and Businesses.” 2006. Web.
Mayo, Charles. “Antvivisection Campaign.” 2009. Web.
Otway Pork. “Otway Pork first to Gain national RSPCA Accreditation.” 2005. Web.
PetaIndia.com. “Leather is Dead Skin.” 2009. Web.
Sunny Queen Farms. “Natural Grain Cage Free Eggs.” 2009. Web.
The Cruelty Free Shop. “A Huge Range of Vegan Food and Cruelty-free Products Delivered to your Door Steps anywhere in Australia.” 2009. Web.
The Times of India. “The Leather Trade Faces Loss Worth Crores.” 2002. Web.
Wisch, Rebecca. “State Animal Anti-Cruelty Laws.” 2005. Web.